New research conducted by energy comparison business Love Energy Savings has highlighted a lack of public awareness about nuclear power.
The survey asked more than 750 people: ‘Would you support an increased use of nuclear energy?’
40% stated that they didn’t know enough about the subject to have an informed opinion on whether or not increasing reliance on nuclear energy is a good or bad thing.
The research comes after new government statistics showed that low-carbon sources accounted for 39% of all electricity generated in the UK in 2014, with nuclear making up almost half (48%) of this figure.
Phil Foster, Managing Director, Love Energy Savings, commented: “Given nuclear power’s growing prominence in the UK energy industry (the Scottish Government has a long-standing moratorium on nuclear energy) it was surprising to discover that so many people don’t understand the subject enough to make an informed decision on whether they support its use.
“With fossil fuel stocks decreasing rapidly, we will undoubtedly need to turn to alternatives such as nuclear power. It’d be great if we could rely solely on energy derived from sustainable sources such as wind, solar and tidal power, but we’re a long way from achieving this and we must be realistic.
“Regardless of whether you’re for or against nuclear power, we believe that people should try to understand where their energy is coming from.”
Unlike fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, nuclear fission (the process used in nuclear power plants) produces next to no greenhouse gases. This means that, while it may not be as clean as wind or solar power, nuclear energy certainly has its advantages over fossil fuels. However, there is also the issue of radioactive waste, which is highly dangerous and very difficult to dispose of.
Foster added: “The public should still endeavour to educate themselves about its advantages and disadvantages. With such ambitious targets in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power is fast becoming a strong contender in the fight against global warming. We can’t hide from it.”